There has always been a shadow hanging over H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. That much has been known since the town first appeared in Lovecraft’s writing, when it made its début in the 1936 novel The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It is a place with a long and mysterious history, involving shipbuilding dating back to the mid-1600s, the rise of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, intrigue, strange happenings and more.
Innsmouth is also a town which has been lovingly recreated in Second Life, forming a centre of role-play, an homage to Lovecraft’s writings and very much a famous and significant landmark. Dark and atmospheric, it captures the spirit of the deserted Innsmouth and its air of mystery and menace quite perfectly.
The news of the threat first broke via a post on the H.P. Lovecraft Festival website, and which reads in part:
On September 15th, Darmin Darkes, the owner of the Innsmouth-themed Sim announced the following: “Innsmouth sim is for sale. I’m giving first dibs to you folks in the hopes that someone will want to keep some of the build. Worst case is having to flatten it and sell it. I just can’t afford it any longer. I’m not leaving SL, but I have to cut back my sims. Thank you for your years of support and friendship and the passion you’ve given to Innsmouth. It’s only pixels and I’m sure there are better versions waiting to be built.” — Darmin Darkes
Innsmouth in Second Life has enjoyed passionate and loyal support, and the news has led to a group being formed, The Innsmouth Preservation Society, which has Darmin Darkes’ blessing and is working on ways to secure a continued future for Innsmouth.
The group, led by Arik Metzger, who is the Coordinator of the HP Lovecraft Festival in SL, and Founder/Producer of the HPL-RPG (HP Lovecraft Roleplay and More Group), has already set out initial plans to try to save the region.
“The first goal is to raise enough funds to purchase the sim and cover one month of rent,” he informed me when I hopped over to Innsmouth to speak with him. “Beyond that, there are ideas and plans for returning regular events and activities to Innsmouth, replacing older-style builds with more prim-efficient reproductions of the current structures, free up prims and increase potential for residential and commercial tenant options.”
The group has already held an initial meeting to discuss these plans and more, and a second meeting is scheduled for 19:30 SLT on Thursday, September 18th, at the Innsmouth Opera House. All those wishing to support the preservation of Innsmouth are invited to attend, listen and get involved.
“We boosted the Innsmouth Preservation Society group to 33 members. A number of people expressed concerns and interests, and ideas were shared along with an overview of the immediate goals involved in saving the sim and revitalizing it for all,” Arik informed me in discussing the initial meeting. He’s been spending a fair amount of time spreading the word since the news broke, and visitors at the region will likely find him walking the streets of Innsmouth, imparting news on the group’s work, handing out meeting flyers and more.
Further details on the group’s plans, and information on how to get involved in donating towards keeping Innsmouth alive in Second Life will be given at the upcoming meeting. In addition, updates and other information relating to preserving the region will be posted on the HPL-RPG website.